In 1950 Lente Roode’s father, Willie Schürmann, bought a 2000-hectare farm in the Hoedspruit district in the Northern Province of South Africa which today forms part of the Kapama Private Game Reserve (situated close to to the Kruger National Park in South Africa).
Lente’s father generated income by farming sheep and cattle. Lions, leopards and cheetah were seen as a dire threat to livestock and were shot on sight as a result.
It was during her childhood that Lente developed a love for animals, the African bushveld, and for the farm which she visited at every opportunity. This was the beginning of a life-long passion for conservation of the cheetah, and of all animal species.
As a child of six, Lente was given an orphaned cheetah cub after a neighboring farmer shot the mother. They called her “Sebeka” and she soon became part of the Schürmann household. Together, Lente and her mother (a nurse) lovingly cared for the animal. Lente and her cheetah were inseparable.